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Guard Your Health is a resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members. Find health-related tools and information. Hear from fellow Soldiers and Families. Make medical readiness part of your personal mission.

I have been exercising for several months now. I have changed my diet, drinking more water, eating fewer carbohydrates, cutting red meat and pork out of my diet. I have taken numerous diet pills and was on two diet programs and have been gaining more weight instead of losing it. I have been conducting workout challenges and insanity, conducting outside workout activities and nothing. What can I do to lose the weight? Should I make an appointment to see my doctor?

We hear your frustration: losing weight is no easy task, but don’t be discouraged. It takes time to see results. Since you have already been dieting and exercising for a few months, some weight gain is normal because of muscle gain. However, different variations of diet and exercise work for different people. Here are some tips that may help you find the right balance to start losing weight.

Tip #1: Ditch the Diet Pills for Long-Term Weight Loss

At best, “magic” remedies such as diet pills can only offer a temporary fix. At worst, they can sabotage your best efforts to lose weight the natural way. Many diet pills are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may contain harmful ingredients that can increase your chances of hypertension and stroke, as well as cause unpleasant side effects like bloating and diarrhea.

Instead, try cutting back on your total calories for healthy, long-term weight loss. To calculate your target daily calorie limit, use this personalized weight manager tool. Try limiting portion sizes and swapping out calorie packed foods for healthy alternatives to help reduce your calorie intake.

Tip #2: Boost Your Metabolism with Healthy Eating Habits

Extreme weight loss diets have proven to be ineffective: only five percent of people who lose weight through crash diets actually keep the weight off. It sounds like you have already done a good job shifting to a healthier diet, so try adopting these daily eating habits to continue to boost your metabolism:

  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Enjoy your food, but stop when you are full.
  • Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Swap out junk food for healthier alternatives.

Tip #3: Exercise Five Days Per Week

You’re doing a great job getting in a variety of work out routines. Regular exercise (combined with a healthy diet) is the best way to lose weight. Make sure you’re getting a minimum of 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, per week.

Recent research has found that splitting this time up into five 30-minute work outs per week is the best way lose weight and keep the pounds off. Challenge a buddy to a pick-up game or train for a race together to have some fun while you’re burning off those calories.

Tip #4: Talk To Your Medical Readiness NCO

Finally, you should reach to your Medical Readiness NCO to determine the best course of action for seeing a doctor to rule out a medical condition like thyroid problems or insulin resistance that may be interfering with your efforts.

Keep up to good work and let us know how it goes!

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